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Morocco: Convictions of men arrested for sodomy upheld

Defendants say they were forced to make incriminating statements

The convictions of six men who were arrested in April under Morocco’s sodomy law were upheld by an appeals court, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports.

According to HRW, the men, who faced charges that included engaging in same-sex relations, inciting and mediating prostitution, and public drunkenness, disavowed incriminating statements they made while in police custody, saying they were forced to make them.

The six were arrested after a YouTube video reportedly featuring a private party surfaced.

HRW’s Sarah Leah Whitson says Moroccan authorities “should stop prosecuting and jailing people for their intimate behavior with other consenting adults,” adding that “whatever the sexual orientation of these six defendants, they shouldn’t face criminal penalties because of it.”